My wife and I saw the movie The Help yesterday. It is a fantastic film. Great acting. Great story about an unbelievable period in our history.
This film shows us how racism quietly invades hearts and homes and a nation.The segregation laws and attitudes and acts of injustice are not ancient history. These attitudes remain a part of our current history. In subtle sometimes, and other times very blatant ways, we judge people based on the color of their skin or their sexual orientation or the lifestyle they have chosen, or the lifestyle they are trapped in, or their citizenship, or their decisions.
The church is called to be a radical new community. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). These words called the people of God to be a new type of community–a community that does not divide based on race, nor economic status, nor gender. We get hints of how the church struggled to live out this new mandate such as in Paul’s Letter to Philemon.
We are called to be in the world, doing good in the world, repairing the world, and yet set apart as God’s people at the same time. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).
The church must continue to work to be a place of grace for those today who are voiceless or marginalized. The church of Jesus Christ is called to act–holding firmly to its gospel convictions and also speaking up for and welcoming those considered “the other.”
We are called to be people of courage. We are to be the church, people who in even the smallest of ways, stand up for justice in the name of Jesus. It is never easy–but we are not called to easy.